Bounasr wins Vienna marathon as Kimetto quits after 25K

Thousands of athletes cross a bridge over the Danube river shortly after the start of the Vienna city marathon, in Vienna, Austria, on Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo /Ronald Zak)
Thousands of athletes cross a bridge over the Danube river shortly after the start of the Vienna city marathon, in Vienna, Austria, on Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo /Ronald Zak)
Salah-Eddine Bounasr from Morocco crosses the finish line to win the Vienna city marathon, in Vienna, Austria, on Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo /Ronald Zak)
Nancy Kiprop from Kenya crosses the finish line to win the women's part of the Vienna city marathon, in Vienna, Austria, on Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo /Ronald Zak)
Athletes run during the Vienna city marathon, in Vienna, Austria, on Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo /Ronald Zak)

VIENNA — Salah-Eddine Bounasr of Morocco won the Vienna City Marathon in warm weather on Sunday after world record holder Dennis Kimetto quit the race before the 25-kilometer mark.

Bounasr led shoulder to shoulder with Ismael Bushendich before leaving the Kenyan runner behind in the final three kilometers.

Bounasr finished in a personal best time of 2 hours, 9 minutes and 29 seconds, becoming the first Moroccan winner of the event since Lahoussine Mrikik in 2006. It was his third marathon victory in three years but first outside China after winning in Guangzhou in 2016 and Beijing last year.

Bushendich trailed by 34 seconds in second after also coming runner-up last year. Fellow Kenyan Samuel Maswai finished third in 2:11:08.

Hampered by various injuries, Kimetto has failed to finish a marathon since placing ninth in London two years ago. The Kenyan has not won a race since setting the best mark of 2:02:57 in Berlin in 2014, and has not completed six of the 12 marathons he competed in.

From the start, Kimetto was part of a leading group of seven but first struggled to keep the pace after 15 kilometers. His running rhythm didn't look smooth and he quit the race after 80 minutes.

Nancy Kiprop won the women's race for the second straight year. The Kenyan runner improved her personal best by finishing in 2:24:18, two seconds faster than last year.

Melesech Tsegaye of Ethiopia finished second in 2:29:51 and Celestine Chepchirchir of Kenya was another 48 seconds behind in third.

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